Texas Legislature

Ryan E. Poppe

Ahead of the 2017 Legislative session, lawmakers are looking at ways to boost college enrollment for working adults like military veterans, reaching those non-traditional students was discussed at the state capitol Tuesday.

The number of college students who also work has declined in recent years.  According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, currently 39 percent of the state’s 3.8 million college students work full or part-time jobs while attending classes.

Ryan Poppe

In 2015, Texas lawmakers approved a historic spending package aimed at beefing up law enforcement’s presence along the Texas-Mexico border. Part of the money was supposed to help local border sheriffs hire additional deputies so they could be involved, but so far that isn’t happening.

 


Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Portions of Texas 96 parks remain closed because of flood damage and fire.  Parks officials told legislators Monday expensive repairs are needed to reopen the inaccessible areas. 

Ryan E. Poppe

Texas lawmakers are considering legislation that would set up a state licensing program for nonprofits that help settle refugees in the state.  Senate Republicans are concerned about being left out of the loop when it comes to the city where these families are being placed by the federal government.


Ryan E. Poppe

The term “crisis” has been used in recent years to describe the state of Texas’ foster care system and state lawmakers are examining what can be done to fix it.

There were 65,000 cases of confirmed child abuse that were investigated by the Texas Department of Family Protective Services in 2015. That’s down by 14 percent, according to state’s Child Protective Services Division.  

But Judge John Specia, the head of the state agency, told lawmakers while those numbers have decreased, 50 percent of case workers are leaving the job because of low pay and high caseloads.

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